Buying a home is extremely exciting, but can be a bit daunting too. There's so much to think about and organise that it can become a bit overwhelming, particularly if you're buying for the first time. Giving yourself a checklist can really help. There are apps to help with moving home and your solicitor and estate agent are, of course, there for your questions and any advice you may need.
Insuring your new home
Home insurance needs to be on your checklist. Making sure you have home insurance when buying a house is really important. If you have a mortgage your lender will usually insist you have adequate buildings cover as they obviously have an interest. Buildings insurance covers you financially if something happens to your property structurally that could result in it needing repairs or, in the worst case, rebuilding. Things likes subsidence, flooding, fire are all covered within your home insurance. Your mortgage company may offer you their own insurance but you don't have to take it, you have the option to choose your own insurer. Make sure you do a price comparison with us – it's the best way to save money and find great value.
Insure from the day you exchange contracts
You'd think that this insurance cover would need to start the day you moved in, but you actually become legally responsible the day you exchange contracts, so it needs to be in place from that date. If you already own a property you might need to overlap the insurance if there’s a period of time where you're responsible for both. It’s worth remembering that you don’t have to stay with the same insurer and in fact, by comparing you may be able to save yourself some money.
If you change insurer midway through your term, your old insurer may charge you a cancellation fee – but by doing a quick search with us you'll be able to see whether the saving you’ll get from your new insurer is worth it.
Remember to keep everyone updated and confirm the exchange of contracts day so you know you’re insured for the correct property on the right date.
Buying a leasehold property
Buy a leasehold property, like a flat in a building is one occasion where you don't need to take out building insurance when buying a home. This is because the freeholder is usually responsible for the overall structure. However, you may find that you have a service charge that includes a contribution towards the buildings insurance. If this is the case, make sure you ask for a copy of the policy for your own records. Your solicitor should do all of this for you, as your mortgage company will also want to register the freeholder’s insurance.
Insure your contents as well as your building
We know how much our house is worth – that’s what the valuation is for. Buildings are insured for the rebuilding cost, not the market value, but the various items we collect over the years and keep in our house can all add up. Spend a few minutes adding up the value of all your household items, and include the cost of replacing your clothing, appliances, furniture and technology - you might be very surprised at the size of its total value.
Replacing valuable items if they were lost in a fire is expensive, and so consider this cost when deciding whether to purchase contents insurance. Sadly it can't bring back all the things we love and cherish but it can help replace them. Your mortgage provider will insist that you have buildings insurance to protect their interest in your property. There is no requirement to insure your contents but not taking out contents insurance might be a risky decision. If you have contents insurance already you should check whether your insurance covers your items whilst you’re moving then from your old house to your new home (literally when they're in transit). Some policies do include this, some can have it added on – but in either case, you'll need to use a proper removal firm, otherwise you won't be covered.
You may be able to pay to use the removal firm’s insurance – that way if you do need to make a claim it won't affect your own insurance premium, and you might not have to pay an excess charge either.
If you don't have contents insurance then maybe it’s something to think about getting covered before you move.
It’s an exciting time – so don’t let insurance get you down. Get the cover you need and enjoy your lovely new home!